Order Your Conversations Aright
Tonight’s subject is, “Order Your Conversations Aright.” As we are told in the 50th Psalm: “To him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23, KJV1)
Have we any instructions in Scripture concerning how we order our conversations aright? We do have it in the 4th chapter of Ephesians. We are told, “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former conversations … and put on the new nature,”(Ephesians 4:22, 24, RSV2) except for the word “conversations,” which occurs only in the King James Version.
If the “old Nature” belongs to the “former conversations,” then the “new nature” has to have new conversations. “Put on the new nature, created after the image of God.” (Ephesians 4:24 RSV)
Well, now, what is this nature? “Nature is that principle upon which we depend for sameness of form in transmitted life.”
If my conversations determine the things that project themselves upon the screen of space in my world – until I change my conversations, I cannot change the forms. For that is the principle upon which man depends for the “sameness of forms in transmitted life.” If these forms that come out – good, bad and indifferent – are the results of my conversations, then I must change my conversations.
We are told in an ancient book – a book written in the First Century – I have a translation by Walter Scott; it is called “The Hermetica,” and in it is said, “God has given two gifts to man alone, and to no other mortal creature. These gifts are Mind and Speech. And these gifts, if used rightly, will differ in nothing from the Immortals.” Now, when man takes off the body – when he quits the body, they will be his guides, and by them he will be led into the Troop of the Gods, and into the souls of those who attain to bliss.”
Only to man is the gift given of Mind and Speech. Now I could tell you the story of how easy it is to do, but in the doing, may I tell you, it really is difficult. You will think, “Why, certainly I can change my conversations, and then remain faithful to the change.” But we are such creatures of habit.
So, Shakespeare could say, in “The Merchant of Venice,” where he put the words into the mouth of Portia: “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, then chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.” [Act I, Scene II]
So, it’s simple on the surface, but in practice it is not as simple as it appears to be. But if man could only take an inner conversation and control it – a conversation which implies the fulfillment of his dream – and remain faithful to that inner conversation, this inner dialogue – a controlled inner dialogue – possibly could be the most fruitful conversation in your life.
Man talks all day long inwardly. He may restrain the impulse to say it outwardly. He may feel like saying it, but he has cultivated – he’s an educated person; he feels himself under restraint. He might feel like telling you to go to the devil, but he restrains the impulse to say it audibly. But he has said it! It was born with the impulse.
If I could only now take my objective in this world and dare to assume that I’ve achieved it, and then carry on conversations – inner conversations – from the premise of that assumption, I should put this to the test and prove it. Would it really achieve a change of form in my world? I am telling you from my own experience, it does. It absolutely does!
As we are told in Isaiah, the 55th chapter: “And the word that goes forth from my mouth shall not return unto me void; it must accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
But you will say, “This is the Lord speaking, and certainly the Lord can do that.” Well, now, let me quote the last words of David as said in the 23d chapter of II Samuel – and these are the last words of David: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, his word upon my tongue.” (II Samuel 23:2) The “Spirit of the Lord” – he never had that revelation until that moment. He realizes now that all along everything on his tongue was the Lord speaking!
“The Lord speaks by me, and his word is upon my tongue.” (II Samuel 23:2) The word “Lord,” as we told you earlier in this series – if it in any way conveys the sense of an external something, external to your own being, you have the wrong lord. If the words “Jesus Christ” convey the sense of an existent something outside of man, you have the wrong Jesus Christ! For Jesus Christ is in us, and if He is in us, and by Him all things are made and without Him was not anything made that is made, and He is called the “Word of God,” and you understand that the very word was created by the Word of God – and David tells us that God is upon his tongue. The very Word of God is upon his tongue. Then we are told: “I am the Lord. There is no other god. Beside Me there is no god.” (Isaiah 45:5)
Is it true? Well, you and I are called upon to put it to the test. Can I actually now, this very moment, construct a simple conversation, which, if it is true, will involve that I realize my objective? Can I then be faithful to that conversation, or will I wander from it? Well, I’m telling you, it’s very difficult! It seems so simple. I certainly could take a little conversation between a friend and myself in a dialogue and tell him that all things are, as I would like them to be; that I have this goal and that goal, and “Do you realize, I have realized it?” It all came so simply and so naturally; it all fell into place. Could you really believe that?
Well, the thing is to try it. See how long you can carry on that conversation without wandering away. I’ve tried it over and over. Every time that I am successful in keeping it to where I demand in words – but again to quote Shakespeare: “It is a great virtue, and the one who can do it, it is a noble virtue” to follow your own instruction. So, I can teach you. It is easy – far “easier to teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.”
But now let me share with you a story I know well, the story of my father. He was born a very poor white man in the Island of Barbados. My mother was born poor. She had nothing; he had nothing. And they proceeded to have children. Twelve children were born; two died at birth. Ten survived. He had nothing. How he got hold of this, I do not know, but the first time he heard me speak in New York City was a Sunday morning, and when we went back to the apartment, he said, “You know, everything you said this morning is true. But why do you tell the people to close their eyes? Don’t close your eyes. Keep them partly shut. You can control your imagination and you can control your attention better if the eyes are not completely closed. When you see me in the morning after breakfast reclining in my chair, you might think that I am just sleeping it off – because he’s a heavy drinker. “You might think I’m simply sleeping it off. I am not sleeping off anything. I am doing my day’s work then! I bring before my mind’s eye the men that I want to deal with that day, and I control the conversation. I tell them exactly what I want to tell them, as though it were true. I let them tell me – confirm that it is true, and then when I am completely satisfied with my inner conversation, then I go to town. And it works that way.”
Now, he started behind the 8-ball. He had himself, my mother, my grandmother, and the ten of us to feed, plus a few servants. It was not easy. But when he died in 1959, he could leave his ten children – because my mother preceded him by many years, and he never remarried. She died in ’41, and he said, “No, I’ve been so blissfully happy with your Mother, I could not ever get married again,” so he remained single until he died at the age of 85. But when he died, that poor man could leave a family of ten independently wealthy – each, not just collectively. He gave it to each individually as a block of stock in the company, just to the ten of us. In 1951 it was then equal to an independent income for each of us. It has tripled since he gave it to us when he died in 1959, under the control of my brother Victor, who practices the same thing.
Victor doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t drink, but he sits alone, and in his room he, too, is carrying on his little inner conversations – premises of desires fulfilled. And he can completely control that imagination of his. He can completely control the inner conversation, and things work just as he has determined them. He never goes to church. He’s a religious man in the true sense of the word. He gives generously to charity and to all people – you would never know how many people he helps in the Island because he doesn’t publicize it. That works for him because he has found out inner conversations will do it.
So then, we are told, “To him who orders his conversations aright, I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:23) Then we are told how to do it: “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former conversations.” (Ephesians 4:22) And you know how, day after day, there are certain people who will run the same thing like a record, and do it over and over and over and when you meet them, they start just where they left off the last time that you talked with them. They tell the same story over and over and over. “How rotten she is to me!” or “How rotten he is to me!”
And after one solid year when you return to the City, they take up just where they left off before! And they wonder, “Why are these things happening to me?” Well, here in the greatest book in the world we are told why. For, if my conversation determines my nature – my nature is that principle upon which I depend for the sameness of forms in transmitted life – how can I change the form when the form is dependent upon my inner conversation?
So, my inner conversation is actually determining the entire thing, but man thinks it was only some external being called God whose word could not return to him void; that it had to prosper in the thing for which it was sent, (See Isaiah 55:11) because he has divorced himself from God. God’s name forever and forever and forever is I AM. He said, “That is my name forever, and by that name I shall be known throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:15)
Well, before you were given the name John or Mary, you had God’s name. God’s name is I AM. That should precede the name you now use as John, for should I ask you, “What is your name?” before you say, “John,” you are going to say, “I am,” and you are going to say, “I am John.” So you preceded the little mask called John and declared that I am. Well, that’s God’s name! So, that is the One spoken of in Scripture Whose word cannot return void, but must accomplish that which He purposed. It must prosper in the thing for which He sent it.
You may say, “How simple this thing is. You mean, I could start tonight? I don’t go to church; I am not a religious person. I have done nothing in the world. But do you mean, I have that talent?”
Is this the being of whom Hermes spoke when he said, “God gave a gift to man and to no other creature. And this gift is Mind and Speech”? Well, I can talk, and I have a mind. And then he tells me that speech reflects mind, and mind reflects God, that as man, so is God. As is God, so man. And if God reflects my mind, and my mind reflects my speech, to change any production in my world, I’ve got to change the speech!
So, it is simply that the mind reflects it. And the mind reflects God. So, my God goes back, then, to my speech! So, I am simply reproducing the same old story in my world when I could easily change the record.
Back in 1953 my wife had a vision. It was an audio-vision. She jumped out of bed and came into the living room. I always rise early. She came barging through looking for the dictionary, and she said, “I’ve just had the most wonderful experience. I saw nothing, but I heard the most wonderful voice – a voice of authority. And the voice said to me, ‘You must stop spending your thoughts, time, and your money. Everything in life must be an investment.’”
So, she wanted to see the difference between spending and investing. According to the definition in the dictionary that she had at the time: When you spend, you give out without any hope of return; it’s a waste to spend. When you invest, you expect a return on equity. When you invest, you always expect a return on your equity. So you must stop spending and everything you do from now on must be invested – and it stated what they are: your thoughts, your time, and your money. These are three things that man thinks he has in abundance, and he is spending them morning, noon and night. He wastes his time in trivia. He wastes his thoughts. He wastes his money.
So, if this vision of hers is actually put into practice – and she is the first one to admit that she does not practice it; she was the instrument through which it came, but she would be the first one to admit that, raised as she was, in the most conservative environment, that she doesn’t really live it, because she lives a restrained life. She would think it only becoming a lady to express herself – well, I would say – openly. She feels it, and she knows now that she was thinking of saying it, but she restrained the impulse. She said it anyway, and she knows now that her body is an emotional filter, and it bears the marks of her prevalent emotions.
So, all day long you and I are making – little tiny speech movements are being made in us. We are not hearing them audibly, but the inner ear hears them. So, I need not hear them on the outside, and no one need hear them, but I see the results in my world. My whole vast world could not bear anything other than my speech. That’s what the Book teaches! I must “put off the old nature,” it belongs to my former conversations. And then it tells me, “Now ‘put on the new nature.’”
The “old nature” belongs to my former conversations; the “new nature” belongs to my new conversations. Can I put on the new and make it so natural that I will do with that as I did with the former one? And can I, now, so completely change the record and play it often enough that it becomes a habit, within me as I walk the earth, so that things are perfect? So that things are easy? So that when I read the headline of a market crash, it doesn’t disturb me? So, when I read the headline that something has “gone to pot,” it does not disturb me inwardly?
Since this is based upon Principle, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world, because the world is simply the outpouring of the conversations of men and women in the world. If I change my conversation in the midst of a depression, I am still going to be successful in my world. There are men today that were hugely successful when millions lost so much during the depressed market!
They are not concerned about the market; they don’t watch the market at all. But they must be controlling their inner conversation.
I know in my father’s case, he was a living example. My Brother Victor is a living example of this technique, but I don’t think my father taught it to him. He really got it innately, because he told me that when he saw the sign on a building that had the name P. N. Roach and Company, he made it spell “J. N. Goddard & Sons.” When he confided to my Mother, my Mother said, “Vic, don’t do it. We have no money, and it’s only going to hurt you. You can never own that building.” Two years later the building was up for sale; the business that was in it failed.
A total stranger came in. When I say, “total stranger” – he knew us only as a family, but he had never come to our home for a cup of tea. We were never entertained in his home for a cup of tea, and he was not a drinking partner of my father. He knew him. The day it went up for sale, he came in and said that he would buy it for us. All he would take as collateral was our signature, for we had invested in it our honesty and the bank assured him that if we pledged ourselves, we would do it. If we had to starve to pay his note, we would do it.
He said, “That’s all I need, so if you will sign this piece of paper, I’ll buy the building. I will have my lawyer bid for it. If I bid for it, they will bid me up, but if my lawyer bids for it, he represents more than one client, and they do not know who he represents today. They wouldn’t think for one second that a planter – he was a planter – that he would bid for a business on Main Street which carries groceries.”
So, that day the Goddards owned it, and all we had to give was our signature on that paper that we signed. And he said to reduce the principle in ten years, and as you reduce it, you simply pay 6 per cent on the principle; if you keep on reducing it every year, in ten years it must be completely paid off. Well, it was. And when he died, twenty years later, he said his greatest friend was Victor Goddard, and he left him an estate in excess of a quarter of a million, tax-free. Everything was completely paid off when he gave that to my Brother Victor. He said, “You have been my friend.”
So, I know that today we have at least one member of the family who does put this into practice. I try to the best of my ability to practice it, because I get requests morning, noon and night in my mail asking me to hear this, hear that, and hear the other. I never fail to hear it. I try not to dwell upon it after I have heard it. I must believe that what I have heard must come to pass, as told us in the First Epistle of John in the 5th chapter: “If we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know we have obtained the request made of Him” (I John 5:15) What a challenge!
“If we know that He hears us in whatever we ask – no restraint upon the things we ask for, then – “we know we have…” There’s the past tense. “We have obtained the requests made of Him.” Read it in the 5th chapter, 15th verse, of the First Epistle of John. Well, what a fantastic promise to make to man!
I don’t have, then, to keep it going. It’s like putting the seed down and having full confidence in the planting of that seed, for it contains within itself the power of self-expression. The Word of God is like the Seed of God, and it is planted at that moment that you actually carry on the conversation.
So, I bring before my mind’s eye the one who has asked of me if I know them. If I do not know them, I imagine that I have heard from them. They will not always confirm it, but I imagine they wrote me and thanked me.
But as we are told in Scripture: There were ten who received the gift. They were all lepers. Only one turned back and said, “Thank you.” But the nine went on, and they got their help, but never turned back to say, “Thank you.” (See Luke 17:12-19) So, it doesn’t really matter as far as I am concerned. I do my work. They may never write to tell me that it worked, but quite often I meet them, maybe a year later, or three or four years later, and they will say, “You know, so-and-so happened.” I ask them, “Do you know why it happened? Then they will give me the means that were employed, and tell me that is why it happened.
Mrs. Archibald Roosevelt, who was just killed in an automobile accident in New York City – she would come home once a month. This was always a problem with her family – never her husband, but her children and in-laws. One day she said to me, “My son has returned from Egypt, and he has an enormous beard, and I am so ashamed to walk down the street with him.” Here was this young, good-looking lad – now, this was before the hippies when people began to grow long hair and beards. He was unique. So, I said, “Now, Mrs. Roosevelt, you know what a kiss of your son would be like without the beard, don’t you?” “Oh, yes,” she said. “Well, kiss him and he doesn’t have a beard. Put your arms around him, and kiss your son, and see the nice, smooth skin and feel it.” “Well,” she said, “I’ll do it.”
Well, she never once told me, but because of her position in the world, I read in the morning paper – on a Monday morning. Here was this big spread of a wedding. He got married on Sunday, a smooth-skinned lad, Mrs. Roosevelt, Archie Roosevelt, the bride – the whole gang of them. When she came the next time, I said, “You know, your son has shaved his beard.” She said, “Yes. Do you know why? You know, he married a girl who disliked it. Because she completely disliked it, he shaved it off.” I said, “So that’s why it happened? Tell me, Mrs. Roosevelt, did you do what I asked you to do?” and I reminded her of what I had asked. She said, “Oh, yes, I did that, but why he did it was the girl.” You see, they always go back to the means employed. The girl could have loved him just as much with the beard, but she had to initiate the drive. He shaved it off, and then the mother gave full credit to the girl.
I have seen so many things happen and they never turn back, but forget. We have a very short memory. We do not remember when we set in motion the events or when we planted the seed. So, if nothing comes into this world by accident – it is produced by some principle, and the principle is told in this talk tonight, and the principle is simply our conversation – our little simple inner conversations when we are alone. The conversation when you are putting on a mask and meet some one at a cocktail party and you are all lying – everybody is lying; you have a few martinis and this one lies, that one lies. Little do they know that what they are doing is a lie. But I don’t mean that; I mean when you are alone.
Knowing this principle, it doesn’t really matter if what appears now to be a lie – you know, an assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact. So, now you are going to put that principle into operation. We will take an assumption. I will assume that things are, as I want them to be. Now I will carry on a conversation based upon that assumption, and that controlled inner conversation will be possibly my greatest success – my greatest conversation ever – far, far greater than the conversations that we hold at a dinner party.
You sit down, and here is a dinner. You are not going to tell your host that thing is horrible, are you? But anyway, you wonder what on earth possessed her to make this. But you don’t say it because that would be unkind. But you did say it anyway; you said it inwardly.
But I am speaking now of this productive principle. When you are alone and you know exactly what you want for yourself or for a friend or for the community. Then what conversation would imply that you have yours, she has hers and the community has its? Well, carry on with that conversation. If this statement in the 4th chapter of Ephesians is correct, then it should prove itself in the testing: that if I could put off my old nature, which refers to my former conversations – don’t just put it off, because I cannot live in a void, but put on the new nature. If the old is related to my former conversations, well, then, my new nature must be related to my new conversation. (See Ephesians 4:22-24) Well, I will start a new conversation, and talk with my brother Victor and tell him of the success I am having. This is going to amuse him, because he likes success. He loves success in the world of Caesar.
He thinks that what I do – well, he would not say it’s insane – he doesn’t understand it. He says, “I have one thing to do in the world of Caesar. We are a large family, but I have no children of my own. I am the one that’s a mule,” he says. “All you fellows seem to be bulls, but I am a mule – I have no children. So, I have to make it, in the event you fellows will need it.” Well, we aren’t going to need it, but he keeps on making it. So, he enjoys money. He enjoys making it. He enjoys actually doing things in a big way. He thinks in a big way. And he does it by inner conversations. And he started, I’d say, behind the 8-ball when as a poor white family in little Barbados, or in any of the islands, for that matter, because the white man who has it ignores the white man who hasn’t anything. A white man in Barbados has to put on shoes. A Negro in Barbados can go without shoes; he can go without a jacket, and they will tolerate that. But they will not tolerate that from a poor, poor white man. So, I know what I talk about. We were as poor as they come. Today no one tops them in Barbados regarding money, and they all come to him for advice. Those who thought they had it; they come to Victor. They don’t venture anything – not even the government – until they come to Victor. They value his opinion. He gets a piece of it all. “If they want my advice, I’ll take a piece of their stock. Give me a block of stock and you’ll get my advice.” So, he has stock here, stock there, stock everywhere. And, so, that’s Victor. He loves it.
I tell him that I do my work alone, and I love it. I love this as he loves making money. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to go to him for advice!
So, here, I spoke of two men tonight: my father and my brother, and they do it by inner conversations. But the Bible supports it. If the Bible did not support it, I wouldn’t tell you, but the Bible supports what they are doing. How they found it, I do not know. My father – the only book he ever read was the Bible. I wonder if he got it when he read it?
When I wrote my first book, “Your Faith Is Your Fortune,” I sent the first copy off the press to my father and mother. When I wrote the inscription, I said, “If there is such a thing as reincarnation and I have to come back to this world again, I would ask for nothing greater than to have you two as my parents.” So, Daddy, because of that inscription, started to look at the book. It has 26 chapters, and each chapter began with a quote from the Bible, so he closed the book. When I went home a few years later, I asked, “Daddy, did you read my book?” He said, “Oh, why should I? You took 26 little verses from the Scripture and wrote a book of 200 pages. I know the 26 verses.” So, that’s how he said it. “Why should I read it? I know those verses.” And it’s the one book he always read. Perhaps he did find it – I do not know.
But we are told to alter our old conversations, and if we do it, He will show us the salvation of God. Blake, whom I am always quoting, in his book “Jerusalem,” he says, “Oh, what have I said? What have I done, O All Powerful Human Words!” You realize that you cannot pull them back, so you said them. Then how are you going to pull them back?
Now tonight it shouldn’t take you long if you know it’s true – and I know it’s true – to change the entire world if you put on a new record. And you can easily put on the new record. Just what would it be like if it were true? And if it were true, would anyone know? Yes. My wife would know it first, my daughter would know it, and then my circle would widen. Then my circle of friends would know it. Well, start with the one you know best first. My wife would know it; I share all things with her, and then my daughter would know it. So, I carry on a conversation, first with my wife and then with my daughter Vicki, and then try to make it a lasting conversation so that it becomes a habit. Instead of going back into the negative, make it a positive statement, and try to make it so natural in yourself that it’s easy to pick up that record and put it on. And see how it works in your world. It doesn’t cost you anything! It costs nothing to do it. And this is what Scripture teaches. And it cannot but return to you if you know Who-You-Are. And I am trying to convince every one that I reach that they are God! It’s a shock to them, because they have been told that they are little worms. You aren’t a little worm! You are God wearing a garment of flesh for educative purposes. But you are God! You have His name, and He will not give His name to another. But He puts you through the furnaces of affliction to receive His name. You are going through the furnaces.
As Blake says in the statement speaking of those who call God a non-existent being – he calls them fools as we are told in the Psalm: “The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1) But Blake calls the fool Babel.
“Babel says … there is no God or Son of God:
That Thou, O Human Imagination, O Divine Body … are all
A delusion; but I know Thee, O Lord, when Thou arisest upon
My weary eyes, even in this dungeon and this iron mill…
Thou also sufferest with me, although I behold Thee not.”
[Wm. Blake, from “Jerusalem”]
You cannot see your imagination. And he equates human imagination with the Divine Body of the Lord and the Lord. These three are one, in the eyes of Blake, in this marvelous poem “Jerusalem.”
So, you can’t see imagination; you see the fruits of imagination. So, no one has ever seen God, because you are the reality called “Imagination.” And you don’t see imagination, but you see the evidence; you see the fruit of it.
“…And the Divine Voice answers:
…Fear not! Lo, I am with you always, [even to the ends of time]
Only believe in me, that I have power to raise from death
Thy brother who sleeps in Albion.”
[Blake, from “Jerusalem”]
So, who is the brother? You are the brother; I am the brother. Humanity is “Albion.” And, then, buried in Humanity is the Lord Jesus Christ; and this one is speaking, saying, “I have power to raise from the dead thy brother who sleeps in Albion.” But he has not for one moment denied the human imagination as the
Lord. They are equated. They are all one. You have the Lord always with you! You can’t take imagination and put it out there. Wherever you go, you are always imagining. You cannot leave the Lord behind you! You cannot sit here and wish imagination away as you can the body. I can stand here and assume that I am at the end of the room and imagine that I am looking at this one. But where am I? I am in imagination. I can look at the body as something that I have put away for a while. I return to it. But I can’t put away imagination. I cannot get away from the Lord, because, being all imagination, I must be wherever He is in imagination. So, if I now, in imagination, feel things, as I desire them to be, that’s the Lord doing it.
And because “all things are possible to the Lord,” I must believe in me; I must believe it is the Lord doing it, as we are told in the last words of David.
“Now these are the last words of David: …The Lord is upon me, his word is upon my tongue.” (II Samuel 23:1, 2) Then he discovers that that’s why he was victorious. He never lost a battle. When the giant put on the armor and he had the sword – and he was a giant and little David comes out only with five feathers.
They were not stones! He took five. Well, five is the number of Grace, and Grace is God’s gift of Himself to man. What other armor does he need, other than the gift of God? So, he goes on with that. What giant could stand before him when all he needs is the Grace of God? So, he goes, and the giant comes down. So, he realizes then that everything he did was done because he went in the Grace of God.
So, wherever you are – you are in a bar – that’s a holy place. Why? Because you are there! If you go into any place that the world would judge harshly, it is holy because you are there! And you can sit any place in the world. You don’t have to go into a church. You can sit at home in any room, sit in the garden; sit any place in this world and just carry on a conversation with yourself, this controlled dialogue. This may turn out one day to be the most fruitful conversation that you’ve ever had.
So, we all need something tonight. We all do, even those who have a billion. They still want more, and I wouldn’t judge them harshly. They want it. Let them have it, if they want more, because as Blake said: “More! More! Is the cry of the fool; All or nothing.” [Wm. Blake, from “There Is No Natural Religion,” second series3 ] And I have covered the 50th chapter of Psalms tonight, and that’s the chapter – you read it carefully: “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, because the world is mine and all within it. (Psalm 50:12)
“The cattle on a thousand hills are mine” (Psalm 50:20). But who is speaking? Asaph is speaking, and Asaph means, “to gather together.” He has been recalled – he records all the history of Israel. From the famous 78th Psalm he says: “I will open my mouth in a parable, and utter dark sayings from of old.” (Psalm 78:2) And he records the entire history of Israel, and how in spite of all the great things the Lord did, Israel went astray to false gods. Then we come to the end, and David appears. The Lord awoke as out of sleep, like a man from strong drink, and He appoints David. But here is the entire history in a parable; the whole history of Israel is a parable. It is a story told as if it were true, leaving the one who hears it to discover its fictitious nature and then extract its meaning.
So, the entire history of Israel, as recorded in Scripture, is not secular history, but it is divine history. You have to find out what it means behind that story, and when you find out, it is the most thrilling thing in the world. It’s all about you! As we are told in the 40th Psalm: “In the volume of the book, it is all about me” (Psalm 40:7) …I have not restrained my lips;” (Psalm 40:9) I screamed it from the housetops when I discovered the whole thing was all about me!
The whole Book is all about you. It’s all about you. But it is adumbrated. The whole thing is an adumbration. Now, when we come to the New Testament, it takes on a cubic reality. The Old is a rough sketch, but the New Testament takes on a cubic reality, and it all takes place within you, the individual. Then you will realize the whole thing is all about you – everything in the Bible. It is not understood in the Old Testament because that is a foreshadowing, it is told in a not-altogether conclusive or immediately evident way. When we come into the New Testament, and He tells it all about the individual, that’s not what they were looking for. They were looking for an external Savior, one who would come and destroy a physical enemy of Israel. So, that’s not it. He comes from within. And this is what was meant in the very beginning of days. He comes to us as One unknown, but One who in the most mysterious manner lets the individual experience Who He is. And when you experience it, you experience it as yourself. You are The One spoken of!
Now, if all things are possible to Him – remember now: You are The One spoken of in Scripture. And if what I have quoted earlier tonight can be put to the test and proven in the testing, don’t hesitate to do it. You can speak. You have the two gifts spoken of by Hermes, and we are told that no mortal creature has it but man, and these are the gifts of Mind and Speech. So, if you use them rightly, you will differ in nothing from the gods! And when you drop off the body and you quit it, these will be your guides. They will lead you into the troop of the gods and into the souls of those who have attained to bliss. You will have the same mind; you will be using Mind and you will be using Speech.
So, you will find all through Scripture the words: “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.” (Jeremiah 1:2, 9, 13; 2:1; 11:1; 14:1; 16:1; 18:1, 21:1; 30:1; 32:1; 33:1; 34:1; 35:1; 40:1; 46:1; 47:1; etc.) “The Word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel.”
(Ezekiel 1:3; 3:16; 6:1; 7:1; 11:14; 13:1; 15:1; 16:1; 17:1; 18:1; etc.) All these are the Word of the Lord, and you are the one spoken of.
So, tonight in a simple way this is what I would do: I would be brutally frank with myself, and don’t modify it. If there is no restraint on what God offers, and you have a desire – nothing is impossible to God. So, know exactly what you want, and be honest with yourself. Now, if it were true, what would it feel like? And if it were true, could I restrain the impulse to talk about it? No, I couldn’t. I would have to tell it. As we are told in Jeremiah:
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him,
Or speak any more in his name,’
There is in my heart as it were a burning fire
Shut up in my bones,
And I am weary with holding it in,
And I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9 RSV)
Well, do it! He has to talk about it when he discovers a principle that works and proves itself in the performance. Now, don’t modify your objective. You know what you want? Well, that’s it! Now, what would the feeling be like, and what would I say, and to whom would I say it? Well, now, carry on that conversation from the premise of the wish fulfilled, and try to keep it up until it is natural – feels natural. When it takes on the tones of reality and the feeling of naturalness, you’ve got it! The thing is working now.
You can play it over and over as you play a nice record. If you like good music, you never tire of listening to it. You can play it every day and several times a day and never tire of good music, if you appreciate it. You could get tired of the be- bop, but how could you ever tire of the beautiful classical pieces? I know, I don’t, so I could listen to them every day, and I do when I am at home. We turn on our radio to a certain station, and it’s 24 hours a day of classical music – KFAC – with very little advertising and a small little 3-minute newscast on the hour; and then throughout the hour – unbroken hour, wonderful music: piano music between 9:00 and 10:00, the Beethovens and the Brahms and the Bachs for one solid hour. I just enjoy it – feast upon it. Well, you can take a record – your own record – and do that, and then let it come back into this world bearing fruit.
So, I do hope you will take me seriously. You haven’t a thing to lose and all to gain. That’s why you are here, and that’s why I have been sent to tell you. There is a Law, and there is a Promise.
The Promise is going to come, regardless, but while you are waiting for the Promise, you could make life more comfortable with the use of the Law, because the Law must be operated. We are the operant power. It will not operate itself. But the Promise is coming. You can’t stop the Promise.
The Promise is that you are going to be God! That’s the Promise. You are going to wake up one day and know that you are God, and all the symbolism that confirms it will stand before you, and then you’ll know Who-You-Are. His Son will call you, “Father”; and you will know that you are God when His Only Son calls you, “Father,” you will know that he is your son, and he’ll know that you are his Father.
So, that Promise is coming. But while you wait for the Promise, take the Law and use it. I quoted very much this night on the Law, which is – the inner conversations. Use your inner conversations, because if you do, you will have the salvation of God. And because your former conversations were related to your old nature, and He tells you to put it off – you can only put off the old nature by putting off the old conversations, because they are related. The former conversations were producing the old nature, and if the “nature is the principle upon which man depends for sameness of form in transmitted life,” the same form is going to be transmitted until you change the former conversations. When you put on the new record – the new conversations, you are going to change your world, and people will meet you and wonder what has happened to you. “Why, he now is moving in the most marvelous manner! Things are just going perfectly for him.” Why? He changed his nature. How did he do it? He changed his inner conversations.
But do you know, there are people – my mind goes back now to the last war – Word War II, and this young man – a fine chap, an only child, and he told me quite innocently that he so hated Roosevelt that in the morning while he was shaving he told him off. He told him exactly what he thought of him – bawled him out. I said, “Why do you do it? Don’t you know you are only hurting yourself?” He said, “I know it. But, oh, if I told you what a thrill I get out of it!” You know, he wouldn’t change it. He so despised the man – he didn’t know Roosevelt, he didn’t know any member of the family, but he simply disliked him. And inwardly – not on Mr. Roosevelt, it worked on him. And he knew what he was doing! If he didn’t know, that’s one thing, but to know and not do it – that is just the opposite. Well, that is what he did.
He said, “Why, Neville, the shows on Broadway today are $10 a seat. There is no show on Broadway that could give me the thrill of those fifteen minutes in the morning when I shave. He just simply delighted in telling off somebody that he didn’t even know. And if he thought for one moment he shouldn’t do it, he said, “Well, let me finish this sentence anyway.” Well, people do that. They know they are doing the wrong thing, and yet they’ve got to complete the sentence. It’s a stupid thing.
So, I ask you to try it. But work it radically, and go to the very root and put on the new record. You can do it! I warned you earlier, it is not the easiest thing in the world, because we are creatures of habit. But when you catch yourself going back to the old record, just put on the new record again, and the new one will become just as easy to play and as natural to play as the old one is now.
Now, let us go into the Silence.
Now, I will be here the five nights next week. Monday night will be the practical night, and what will be in the next four, I do not know. The titles are there, but how I will present them, I do not know yet. But Monday night will be a very practical one. I call tonight’s a practical one.
Now, are there any questions, please?
A Lady: How could I know the difference between if I am daydreaming or if I have the real inner conversation?
Neville: Well, my dear, try it! You start with a daydream anyway. The dress you are wearing had first to be imagined. People call all imagination a dream. It first was only imagined before it became what the world calls a fact. What is now known as something proven was first only imagined. This building we are in here, all the buildings in the City were only imagined. And all the workers that seem to be the active instruments to put them up – they are the unconscious instruments of men who only dreamed. The architects, they had their blueprint and their dream, and the workmen – they come out – all right, they are doing their job, and they seem so active, but they are simply the unconscious instruments of those men of imagination.
You go into battle. Thousands are falling. They are the unconscious instruments of the men who plot the war.
Are there any other questions, please? If not, I will say, Good night.
Now let us go into the silence.